Tag Archives: flowers

Sudeley Snapshots: Tithe Barn

9 Oct

Another installment in the occasional series of photos from lovely Sudeley Castle.  Built in the fifteenth century by Ralph Boteler, to the side of Sudeley Castle, is the Tithe Barn.

IMG_4207edThe building was largely destroyed by Cromwell’s forces during the English Civil war, but the romantic walls remain.

IMG_4193edThe interior has been re-imagined as a sweet and almost secret garden, with wild roses, hollyhocks, hydrangeas, wild clematis, wisteria, foxgloves, and more.  It’s like a Shakespearean sonnet, really.

IMG_4195edEvery doorway and window has its own character, its own sense of being a magic portal.

IMG_4185edEven in autumn, with most of the blooms past their prime or gone entirely, the Tithe Barn retains a sweet beauty.

IMG_4190edTake a walk through and around the barn, and check out views perfectly framed by both architecture and vegetation.

IMG_4201edTurn around and see the upright silhouette of Sudeley Castle itself through the flowers.

IMG_4196edOr stand clear and enjoy that graceful view — almost cozy, when it comes to castles — reflected in the carp pond.

IMG_4189ed

Witley Court

13 Aug

And here we are in August.  I can tell it is August, because the days are getting shorter, and it feels like autumn.  Our regular trips to the pool are devolving back into more endurance event than summer fun.  And I am trawling through my photos for snippets of sunshine.  Here are some, from one of those beautiful, crystalline-perfect English spring days.  If you haven’t been, check out Witley Court and Gardens.

IMG_6647The house itself is a standing ruin, amazingly picturesque.

IMG_6584Heart throbbing fields of gold peeking through the trees this time of year.

20130601_135716Witley is known for its rhododendrons, which were something beyond incredible.

20130601_140659The fountain is worth seeing, when it runs on the hour.

IMG_6705Almost as fun as the fountain display at Versailles.  Ah, who am I kidding, nothing beats Versailles, but it was still a great show.

We spent most of a day here, seeing the fountains, the flowers, the baroque church, the newly built up adventure play area, the long walks, and having a good lunch in the nearby cafe.  In some corner of my brain I had planned one of my long chatty posts for you, but instead … just this.

20130601_142250Oh, England.  When you are good you are so good.

Puffballs

8 Jun

A quick Sudeley Snapshot as I slowly work on more blog posts (it’ll happen!).  Lovely purple alium blossoms in the Queens Garden this weekend:

purple alliumThe white roses for which the garden is famed are not yet blooming — our terrible winter strikes again — but do you see the busy bee who photobombed the blossoms?

 

In search of snowdrops

7 Feb

Snowdrops.  Like fairy bells, all of white, suddenly sprung up ringing in the woods.  They signal spring, even when you find them in freezing temperatures on frozen-mud strolls.

IMG_3064northleach
I first noticed them in a graveyard in Northleach.  Not even realizing what they were, I thought it was remarkable to see dainty, elegant flowers decorating graves in the middle of winter.
IMG_3432elkstoneWe saw them again in Elkstone.

IMG_3487elkstoneI still didn’t realize their significance.  But look how they mound up like clouds and float over the carpet of green.

IMG_3565burford2012These were found last year in the Burford graveyard.

20130207_143437I visited them again, this year.  Has my eye for composition changed?  My pleasure in seeing these blooms has increased.

20130207_102850Finding snowdrops in a wild(ish) wood is not as easy at it sounds.  They hide under leaves and behind bracken.  And when you do see them, their first-person magic is hard to capture — at least with my poor skills.  It’s hard to describe how sharply white and green they appear, in contrast to the sear browns and grey of the woods.

20130207_143749I’m glad to have found snowdrops again this year — even gladder to know they mean spring is coming, and to value them appropriately.   They are only out for a few more weeks, so catch them while you may.

TO A SNOWDROP

LONE Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!

~William Wordsworth, 1819

Pensive monitor of fleeting years, indeed. I’m promising myself I’ll visit that same grave in Burford again next year, and mark the end of my cotswold winters in snowdrop blossoms.